Celebrating successful handovers: Shelter & Expedition DNA

22 February 2024

The Lovinklaan Foundation prides itself on, among other things, being an incubator of several people-first initiatives for Arcadis.​ We are thrilled to look back on the significant milestones reached with our Shelter and Expedition DNA (EDNA) programs. As of 2024, these two transformative programs are being handed over to Arcadis after successful incubation periods of funding and guidance by the Lovinklaan Foundation. This is the best-case scenario for our programs after incubation as they have shown great value for Arcadians and bear promise moving forward.   

Shelter and EDNA: Global Impact 

Shelter is a collaborative initiative with UN-Habitat which has made significant strides towards our shared vision of enhancing the quality of life in rapidly urbanising cities. Arcadians share their knowledge and expertise pro bono to find solutions for global urbanization issues in the fields of infrastructure, environment, and water. Since its inception 13 years ago, Arcadians have taken part in 128 Shelter missions in 40 countries. In 2022 alone, 4 million community members of the global south are said to have been positively impacted by the Shelter missions. 

Launched in 2018, EDNA has been pivotal in fostering a culture of innovation and digital proficiency. The program was developed to address the strategic ambitions of the business to become recognized as a digital frontrunner in our industry. It comprises two core elements: Base Camp and Expedition DNA. Base Camp is an online bespoke digital awareness program that brings us all to a common point of knowledge on the four realities of a digital economy: Customer Experience, Data, Ecosystems, and Platforms. Expeditions are an opportunity for those who want to deepen their knowledge and skills related to digital transformation and sustainability and apply them in real-life business cases while connecting with like-minded people from across the world.  

Since its launch, EDNA has had nearly 1000 participants from over 40 countries. Participants have described their experiences as life-changing and beneficial in network building and upskilling.  

From incubation to handover  

Incubating programs allows the Lovinklaan Foundation to invest in new programs that can better meet the needs of Arcadis and Arcadians. We set milestones, and target times, and support our programs financially and logistically; those that continue to benefit Arcadians are handed over to Arcadis.  

We acknowledge the need for clarity during such periods of transition. The process involves multiple discussions held between Arcadis and the Lovinklaan Board, with the aim of aligning strategy and vision. Our role has been to support Shelter and EDNA by funding the missions and expeditions undertaken by Arcadians. These in turn have provided business value in multiple areas.  

We have learned a lot; our global programs create networks for participants between operating countries that are otherwise not easily realised in standard commercial projects. Feedback gathered from Arcadians indicates these programs have been invaluable for their personal and professional growth.  

What changes?  

Although the Lovinklaan Foundation’s 14-year support has come to an end, the Arcadis Shelter Program will continue to provide support to UN-Habitat in 2024. For EDNA, the program will continue to be held virtually. Base Camp will be moved from its current platform into the LXP where the content will be refreshed. In addition, the City Shaper’s program will be absorbed by EDNA whereby participants will get the chance to work on real-life business simulations building on the work initially started for the program.  

The Lovinklaan Foundation extends its heartfelt gratitude to every person whose commitment and diligence have made these programs so successful over the years. We are so proud to witness this success and hand these programs over to Arcadis now.  

Ending on an invigorating note from our Board Member, Maricel Atienza: “As we celebrate the successful handover of these programs to Arcadis, we are eager to embrace the new opportunities it presents us. We are well underway with our plans to fund and support new, impactful programs. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements soon!” 

For queries related to EDNA, please visit Global-Expedition DNA – Home (sharepoint.com)

For queries related to Shelter, please visit For Our Communities: Shelter (sharepoint.com)